The Royals are among the clubs that have taken a look at Braves right fielder Nick Markakis, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. The presence of two other cost-controlled left-handed-hitting outfielders with limited power (Ender Inciarte and Mallex Smith) has “clouded” the future of Markakis in Atlanta, he notes.
Given Markakis’ age, performance and salary, he’s a logical candidate to be moved, though his $11MM annual salary figures to pose a problem in trade talks. While Markakis is walking at a 10 percent clip for the second straight season and has shown a bit more pop in 2016 than he did in 2015 (.105 ISO vs. .080 ISO), he’s still a far cry from the 15- to 20-homer on-base machine that he was in his peak days with the Orioles. Markakis’ .296/.370/.376 batting line last season actually checked in above league average despite a lack of home runs, per OPS+ and wRC+, but he’s at a diminished .260/.337/.366 this season.
Optimists could look at Markakis, however, and note that his 33.1 percent hard-contact rate is the second-highest of his career, and his 22.4 percent line-drive rate is a marked improvement over his 2015 pace. Markakis is also popping up at the lowest rate of his career (four percent), and defensive metrics look favorably upon his work in 2016 (+3 DRS, +1.3 UZR/150). Silver linings aside, it seems quite likely that the Braves would have to absorb some of the salary owed to Markakis, especially if talks with the Royals gain any kind of traction. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo linked the Royals to Markakis back in May but noted that his salary is “an issue” for Kansas City.
The Braves, Bowman writes, will be looking to add some power to their outfield over the winter. And with Inciarte and Smith set to line up in two of the three spots, adding a corner outfield bat with some home run pop would only be feasible in the absence of Markakis. One player who could also factor into the outfield again in a limited capacity, Bowman notes, is Jeff Francoeur. The Braves love Francoeur’s leadership and don’t plan on trading him barring a surprising offer and may even attempt to re-sign the 32-year-old. While needing to be “overwhelmed” for Francoeur at this stage of his career certainly sounds strange, one has to imagine that the offers would be fairly light in nature, and the Braves may prefer simply hanging onto him rather than picking up some cash or a low-level prospect of little note.
From the Royals’ side of the equation, adding Markakis would probably shift Jarrod Dyson into a true fourth outfield role and allow him to bounce around between all three positions as needed. Dyson has shared time with Paulo Orlando in right field this year, but Orlando’s unsustainable production through the first two months has quickly begun to fade. He’s hitting just .267/.293/.326 since June 1. The Royals appear to be open to adding a right field alternative of some nature, as Kansas City has also recently been linked to Josh Reddick.
Bowman’s column also discusses the Braves’ rotation, with GM John Coppolella once again stating that he will not trade his No. 1 starter, Julio Teheran. Coppolella says he’s turned away about a dozen general managers that have come calling on Teheran, and it doesn’t sound as if the team has any intentions of changing its stance as the Aug.1 non-waiver deadline gets closer. Per Bowman, the Braves have fielded calls from three clubs on right-hander Lucas Harrell, although the return on him would be minimal, as Harrell has made four starts with very mixed results for the Braves — 23 1/3 innings, 4.24 ERA, 17-to-9 K/BB ratio — and has a limited big league track record. Most clubs would probably look at him as a depth piece rather than a genuine option to upgrade their starting pitching.
I imagine if the Braves could trade Markakis, they will likely eat up to $4MM per year each over next two. With contracts like his, always just depends on what the return is I guess.
Or they can take on Gordon’s contract, prospect(s), and money for Markakis and maybe some prospect(s) from the Braves.
It’s people like you that make braves fans look like idiots
How old are you? 5? Insults are for kids, so grow up.
I just annoys me that you guys always make these one sided suggestions without even being informed on the topic. Maybe you should do a little research before you comment. Like why would the Royals being giving up an outfielder who’s having a down year when they are trying to improve their outfield depth, or why the braves would want to take on another left handed outfielder when coppy has explicitly stated that he is looking for a right handed power bat.
Sorry for having a life and not doing research.
Who sounds like the 5 year old now buddy?
As Freddie would say, hug it out, boys.
He shouldn’t have called you an idiot, but your idea is stupid.
Well I was on your side up to the point you said you did no research
Yes, because people that take literally milliseconds of their time to google something means they don’t have a life. /s
That is a big chunk of money. I would rather keep Markakis for two more years than that contract. I like Markakis and have not gripes about his contract a bit. While he does not homer like he used to, I like the 50-60 XBHs with good average hitting he brings.
He’s a decent player in the right spot. But the Braves can’t start 3 LH hitting non power hitters together in the OF. On top of that, he’s the one without speed, and he has the worst arm of any RF in baseball right now. I don’t think he has a single OF assist since he came to ATL.
Terrible contract for THAT much money.
Markakis over the next 2 years will hold us back from either a) having a spot to mature a young OF hitter or b) acquiring such because of his spot and/or financial commitment, however minimal it may be.
If KC can absorb some of his future contract demands, I’m sure ATL could pay off 2016 or more, depending on the quality of prospect(s) they kick in — and they have many.
He actually has 7 OF assists with Atlanta (3 in 2016, 4 in 2015), but those totals are certainly a long distance away from the double-digit assist totals he was putting up regularly in Baltimore. As a comparison, Francoeur has 6 assists in 2016 while playing half as many innings as Markakis.
Bradley sites the Braves don’t want to have all 3 outfielders being left handed. How does Gordon make sense if that’s the case?
I don’t have any objections to trading Markakis, but I’d really like to get back a non-pitcher who will play at the Major League level someday ( or is at the ML level now!) . I’m sick of young pitching prospects who are 3 yrs away from the Bigs – and who may or may not ever pan out.
They reason they get pitching prospects is that they’re not gonna get a starter quality bat for someone like markakis. So I’m sure they could get someone that could be a bench player in the majors but pitchers even lower level pitching prospects can be turned into useful bullpen pieces
If Markakis is a starter quality bat, then I have every right to expect a starter quality bat in return. The guy could even be a minor league position player, but he would have to be AA or AAA, with some power and some nice numbers. Stop with the pitchers please. It’s time to think about scoring some runs to support these young kids. Have to stop making them believe that they have to pitch a shutout to have a chance to win.
If the Braves got a good position player offered to them they would pull off that trade in a heartbeat. Other teams prefer to give up pitching prospects rather than hitters, so you have to take what you’re offered. It’s not like their front office is stupid and doesn’t think they need to improve their offense.
You can always buy good hitting, it’s hard to buy good pitching.
Name the last good hitting prospect given up. Teams are much more willing to give up an Anderson Espinosa
The problem is, young pitching prospects are what fuel the trades for big names.
I don’t mind trading him, I like Markakis though, plays good defense and hits the ball well. I can live w/ out the power if the runs are being scored.
I do think they’ll go for pitching to come back in a deal w/ him, and I would guess they’ll go the FA route for power hitting OF next year. Maybe they’ll find a trade partner in the off-season but I don’t know who.
I still think the Braves will go after Bautista and overpay to get him. But he’ll provide some power from the right side. Now I know everyone will tell me I’m stupid, which is fine, but it’s just an opinion on a message board. Not that it matters. But I’d look for them to make a splash in FA for the new stadium.
While pitching prospects may fuel the trades for big names, what does that have to do with a trade for Markakis?
For the Braves to trade Markakis, they’re gonna have to eat like 7 or 8 million per year of that contract.
So Markakis is only worth $3-4MM a year?
Plus whatever prospects are given up
I think 7 or 8 million is fair if something interesting like Starling is coming back
To be honest I’d love to get Brett Eibner back in return. Might cost an additional $7 million plus Markakis though.
I know Eibner isn’t a high profile return, and he is older than the typical prospect type. However he has decent power and could be a ver solid player in the right circumstance. Eibner does at least have some upside.
Let’s face it. Markakis is not bringing a huge return.
As a Royals fan if they trade for Markakis and not for a pitcher they a stupid
Markakis has no value for the Royals as we already have a log jam in the outfield
100%. I’d rather they give the every day role to Eibner. I think the new kids have stepped up this year. The pitching is the issue.
I would just as soon keep him if we have to pay the majority of his contract
If you are a legit playoff aspiring team and Nick Markakis is starting in RF for you, things have gone horribly wrong. He’s a band-aid for a regular season playoff team hoping someone better is coming back later (maybe from the DL) for the playoffs. Give some team 4 or 5 million dollars and take anybody they will give back. Lose more games this year and put the saved money into something interesting next year.
Take Lucas Harrell please while his arm is still functional and get a lottery ticket…any LH low A reliever will do. It would be fun for the Braves to get a hitting lottery ticket. The return for Bud Norris is looking great right now.
We have come full circle OBP went from ignored to valued to over valued back to undervalued
It’s undervalued if his defense holds up, but it’s only getting worse. Plus, we’ve thought he’d get his power back, and he really hasn’t. Going forward, it’s a stretch to think he will unless he’s playing at Yankee Stadium and their short RF porch.
Also, his OBP would have more value on a team with more guys that can bring them in. KC has more of that than ATL, but even then, they’re without Moose and will be relying on Hosmer/Cain to do much of that. We’d value his OBP even more than most teams if we had more than Freeman to rely on bringing them in.
Although it makes sense to move him, I would hate to see him go. I have always admired him as a player. Plus, I like having at least a few well known names on the roster. It just makes it a little more fun in the down years to root for specific players.
Would be a win win for both clubs for whatever they work out, honestly. Markakis has some value (but not much) and the Braves can eat money based on a workable return. Obvious stuff mind you but I don’t know much about the Royals system.
Let’s just say you would be getting a non prospect in return
Braves Fan since 1980
The Braves do need to move Markakis. They need a right handed hitter with power. Outfield, 3B, and Catcher are the spots to do that in.
3B = Joey Gallo (trade Teheran)
C = Matt Wieters (fa)
OF = Jose Bautista (fa)
It’d drop the Braves from the #1 farm system, but it would give some pop for 2017.
I hear ya!! Go get some players
I don’t believe it because if they showed any type of interest I would think Coppy woulda did whatever he had to to make it happen.
Don’t get me wrong I like Markakis but having Mallex & Inciarte we need a RH power bat. They can give us a George Brett autographed piece of pine tar for all I care. They could eat as much as $5 million each year to move him for all I care.
Based on Coppy’s past transactions, Markakis and the market should warrant a decent product that I would imagine Coppy wouldn’t mind kicking in some money if we can get a solid farm piece(s). This is Coppy mining a talent-rich KC team we’re familiar with (via old buddy, Dayton Moore).
Exactly Run, Coppy has not just thrown out guys to save money. Markakis is our most consistent hitter (I know doesn’t take much, minus HRs, he is exactly what we hoped).
If the Braves could pull off a deal for Markakis then they can spend some money on an OF & 3B RH power bats and then look to aquiring a young catcher. I think them guys sold me on McGuire.
Depending on how highly the totals feel about Cuthbert, perhaps markakis, Jenkins and 12 million (6 per year) would be a good package for Moose.
I think we should trade Eric Aybar to Angels for Mike Trout or for David Ortiz. It’s his last year so I’m sure Boston would take a good prospect like Aybar in return.
Deal for Nick Markakis to Kansas City should include outfielder Brett Eibner and prospect LH pitcher Foster Griffin. Braves would pay remainder of Markakis salary for 2016 less the 2016 cost of Eibner and Griffin. Royals get a dependable controllable MLB all-star at no cost. Braves get prospects. In 2016, Royals can move Markakis for similar return if they decide not to keep him.
In what world is Markakis an MLB all star? He never even made the AS team when he was with Baltimore. That was a travesty because he should have made it twice, but he has still never been to the ASG.
Right, no All Star team selections, two gold gloves. Second most hits in MLB over past two seasons.
Are we really basing it off ASG selections? cause, that’s a popularity vote and nothing else.
In the Statpad world at Coors. Anyone can hit 300 with 40 there.
Royals won’t sell Foster Griffin, you are crazy
Not crazy but Braves not going to give Markakis away for an unproven prospect either. Keep what you got. Number 9 prospects are a dime a dozen.
If they sell Griffin it will be for a pitcher not a old man bat
Markakis won’t even make it to 1 WAR this season. He just isn’t good anymore. There is a legit argument he isn’t even worth a top-10 organizational prospect if Atlanta eats the whole contract
Aren’t all prospects unproven, hence the term “prospect”?
I wouldn’t be surprised if KC tried to include Dyson is the deal. kind of a change of scenery type thing. I don’t Know what Dyson’s contract is like or anything. I was kind of thinking of back in the day when the Braves swapped Francouer for Ryan Church.
Dyson and Griffin would be adequate on the same deal with zero 2016 money impact.
Gordon, Cain, Markakis, Gore, Dyson, Orlando, Fuentes. That is one crowded outfield already. How would there be room for Markakis anyway if they believe in Paulo Orlando or Jarrod Dyson, with Fuentes on the horizon.
Hunter Dozier would be an ok return for me
Keep dreaming. Markakis is trash and Braves would be lucky to get a top 20 prospect in return. Honestly he isn’t worth a top 30 with that contract
Where would Markakis play in Kansas City?? Unless he somehow transformed into a starting pitcher overnight it would be an incredibly stupid trade for the Royals, who, if they do anything, should be looking at SP’s that can at least finish 6 innings unlike most of the SP’s they have currently on the roster.
Royals and Braves have a front office connection, or at least they used to. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just the Royals helping the Braves by getting Nick’s name out on the block. IMO he’s a great guy to keep around the club house on a fairly good contract. Compared to other players in the league, I really don’t understand the hate on his contract numbers by Braves fans.
Probably because he’s making way more than $1m per home run.
First year was expected to be low HR totals, 2nd year was supposed to be better bc of the recovery neck surgery. I don’t mind the lack of HR’s but that’s probably the biggest issue for the casual fair-weather Atlanta fan.
As much as I would love for the Royals to overpay I don’t see the Braves getting much for a .260 5 hr hitter
Yes, you are right and a fifth AAA outfielder and 6th best pitching prospect is not much.
Same WAR as Gordon and Orlando combined.
Is Dozier a realistic possibility in this scenario? Maybe Braves trading back Riley?
The only way Nick gets traded is if there is an injury to a RF or if Teheran is traded and Coppy says you must take Nick too.
Pretty crazy stance to take, because I’d say there’s a few ways Nick gets traded that make baseball sense.
They want to make Dyson a fourth outfielder because he’s black.
They want to put another cracker on the team.
Can we seriously drop the race thing here?
Racism is not funny!
Never said it was funny, your implication injected into this thread is far less funny.
Royals are 9 back in the division, and 6 out of the 2nd WC spot? In that case I’m not sure it makes sense to give up future assets to try to make a really unlikely run this year.
I’m not saying they should sell off, but why get a guy like Markakis who is only getting older and will probably continue to decline? Can’t they just wait until the the offseason to see what the OF and SP trade and FA markets look like then?
Only thing I can think is they have a deal or two cooking with their other OFs and Markakis is a decent replacement.
Jorge Soler Powered
Nick Markakis isn’t going to help a .500 team.
The more I think about it the more I say keep Nick. We are not competing next year so might as well keep him. Only problem is he is not cleanup hitter. He needs to hit at the top of the order to take advantage of the OBP. Next year get a 3B & C that both bat RH
1. Markakis LF
2. Swanson SS
3. Freeman 1B
6. Inciarte RF
7. Albies 2B
9. Mallex CF
You know, jumping into the conversation with an Os fan, I questioned us sending Markakis to them for Ubaldo. No Ubaldo is not who he was, but NL East move and his contract is up after 2017, could be a good match.